The Curly-Cue


Matty, 4th grader at Meadowview Elementary School

The name of my instrument is the Curly-Cue. It is named that because when I was trying to flatten out the tube it would not lie straight! After I had tried everything I could possibly think of to make it lie straight, I decided to work with it and call it Curly-Cue.

I got this idea of making a brass instrument like a trumpet because my older sister Kacy had made one in eighth grade. One thing that I really think is cool about the Curly-Cue is that it is like a real trumpet because of the three holes in the top part of the trumpet to change the pitch. For example, if you lift up fingers 3 and 4 and then leave down finger 1, you can get a different sound than if you leave down 2 and 4. The sound sounds like a real trumpet if you simply buzz your lips on the open end of the trumpet.

I made my instrument by taking the tube and curling it around and around so it would look like a real trumpet. Then I took one end of the Curly-Cue and brought it out a little so my lips weren't touching "the curls". Then I took the other end of the trumpet and inserted the funnel. Then to secure it I took blue scotch tape and wound it around the parts of the Curly-Cue that twisted over another part of the pipe.

My dad helped me by drilling three holes in the top part of the Curly-cue with a drill. The parts that I did by myself were the coiling, the inserting of the funnel, and taping it all together. One problem that I had making the Curly-cue was finding out a way to play different notes. I solved this by looking at the real trumpet and looking how it played its notes. I noticed that basically there were holes that your fingers covered up. So my dad drilled three small holes that my fingers could cover.

You can change the volume by blowing more air through he trumpet verses less. The tone quality of the Curly-Cue is okay if you blow properly. It can come out really clear if you can buzz your lips like Louis Armstrong. The Curly-Cue looks like a long, clear tube with a white funnel sticking out of one end of the tube.

The main material that I used for the Curly-Cue was simply one long, clear tube or a flexible pipe as the tube. Then I took a medium sized funnel and also used some blue scotch tape to keep it all together. I found the funnel in our drawer of kitchen supplies. I got the tube from my older sister's old homemade trumpet.

I play my instrument by buzzing my lips on the open side of the tube. I play notes by trying different combinations on the three holes that my fingers cover. For example: 2 and 3 or 3 and 1. I can change the volumeby forcing more air through the tube and I can make it softer by putting more air through the tube.

I really like the result of my instrument. I like it because everyone that I know was not doing a brass instrument. I loved trying different ways of curling up the Curly-Cue. One time it turned out to be so long I couldn't hold it up. I learned that making a brass instrument was hard because it always didn't do what you wanted it to do. Also, it made you lose your breath quickly. I really liked making my instrument called "The Curly-Cue."